Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Another way to look at things...

Information is routinely posted here about the size of our major as measured by the number of students. Today we look at the number of faculty. Consider the chart above. This shows the average size of physics departments in the US sorted by the highest degree granted. A data point has been added to show the current size of our department at 21. While individual departments vary in size and finding a few much larger than the average is possible, we are larger than the average size of both BS and MS granting departments by a lot.

For every MS granting department our size, there must be, on average, two with 7 or 8 faculty. It gets hard to imagine a successful MS program with a faculty this small. For every BS granting department our size there must be 7 with, on average, 4 faculty. Departments this size certainly do exist and are quite common.

This puts us in rare company, indeed.